Lake Taneycomo fishing report
Trout fishing for rainbows on Lake Taneycomo has been pretty close to "excellent" the last couple of weeks and I don't use the word excellent very often to describe fishing. I was once told to say fishing was excellent would be say everyone is catching fish. That's pretty much what it is right now. And the quality of rainbows is the best many anglers have seen it in many years.
Generation is still the same with few exceptions. Running water fairly hard early in the mornings, then back down to a half to a full unit for most of the day, then harder late in the evening in to the night. Here's a graph showing flows for the past 7 days and nights:
With warmer temperatures in the near future, I'd look for less generation. Table Rock's level is 909.4 feet which is five feet below power pool. I'm sure the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is counting on spring rains to bring the lake levels up, but you never know what might happen.
If you're wondering about shad being washed through the turbines, there are no reports yet. Table Rock's water temperature is certainly cold enough to cause a shad kill, but we need to see very heavy generation for sustained durations to get a good shad run on Lake Taneycomo.
Below Fall Creek, anglers are catching rainbows on a variety of baits and lures. Since the water is running, most anglers are drifting bait on the bottom. One group Thursday morning said they had caught their limit of real nice rainbows using cooked shrimp. One fisherman said he'd pinch off a piece about the size of the end of his thumb and put it on his hook, drifting it on the bottom starting at Fall Creek.
They're also fishing with night crawlers and Gulp Eggs.
You don't need a lot of weight to drift in this current. The smallest made-up drift rig we sell has a 1/8th- ounce bell weight. This may be too much weight. You might try just tying on a #8 or #6 hook and add a split shot 24 inches above the hook. Four-pound line is perfect for a spinning rod.
There's some nice trout being caught down lake, too, namely from Monkey Island down through the Branson Landing. Guests last weekend threw and trolled crank baits and caught some nice rainbows and browns. Some anglers reported catching more than 20 brown trout Saturday alone, casting countdown Rapalas against the banks. We had one keeper brown weighed in and released Saturday.
I fished with a jig-and-float this week, drifting from the Riverpointe boat ramp to our place (Lilleys' Landing), using several colors of jigs and did fairly well. I caught trout on a 1/32nd-ounce brown/orange head, scuplin/orange head, scuplin/olive and a pink jig under a float anywhere from 6- to 10-feet deep. I tried to keep the jig close to the bottom no matter where I was in the channel or up on the flat in less deep water.
We are also throwing jigs with no floats and catching fish, both browns and rainbows, both below and above Fall Creek. Depending on the speed of the water (generation), we're throwing a 1/8th-ounce if the water is running fairly hard but dropping in size to a 3/32nd-ounce or even a 1/16th-ounce and working it off the bottom. The best colors are sculpin, sculpin/ginger, olive, brown or ginger. White hasn't done well for me at all this month.
I got out this evening and fished a little. While boating up lake, I passed 5 boats in the trophy area drifting and fishing with bait. I saw one boat catch and keep a slot rainbow- about 16 inches.
I don't understand this reasoning, especially right now when the fishing below Fall Creek is so good. I did what I had to - I called our local MDC agent and reported all 5 boats. Although he didn't get on the water this evening, he will be out tomorrow and Saturday checking hooks and live wells. It's not worth the fine and embarrassment.
Back to fishing--I boated up to Lookout and started drifting, throwing an olive 1/8th ounce jig. Nothing. Then I tied on a brown/orange 1/8th ounce jig and worked it a few hundreds yards. One rainbow. Finally I tied on a sculpin/peach 1/8th ounce jig and caught 3 rainbows but nothing of any size. I boated up.
Stopped just below the Big Hole below the dam and started throwing the sculpin/peach jig. No bites until I just about got down to the boat ramp. The video tells the rest.
I continued to work the jig through the Trophy Run area and caught 4 more nice rainbows before heading in.